Riding the fixed bike to Finn Slough; Seeing snakes

Took my newly repaired bike to the dyke this afternoon.  Let's hope the inner tube is indeed puncture-resistant as it says on the package.

There was one Western Tiger Swallowtail flying around the trees at the end of the trail and defending its territory from other fliers.
Nearby is a raspberry patch visited by honey bees and bumblebees.


Almost capturing the moment of a bumblebee flying towards a flower.

The result of pollinators visiting raspberry flowers - tasty fruits.  One of my labmates is actually studying raspberry pollination and silviculture practices in Algonquin.

Walking along the unused rail tracks disturbed some interesting animals, such as this female Common Whitetail, in which the spots look darker than the female I photographed last year (blog post here).


Earlier today I saw a Garter Snake slithering away from me as I walked the trail without paying attention to the ground.  After that, I was paying extra attention to potential snakes sunning on the substrate.  While photographing the dragonfly, I noticed a pencil-thin (and about 30-cm long) dark snake slithering away from me.

It was trying to escape from me, but the rail tracks provided a barrier and gave me a chance to get a few photos.  The snake eventually found a spot to crawl underneath the track and disappear from me.

It was unlike the usual Garter Snake that I've seen around Richmond.  After doing some searching online, I think I may have seen a Sharp-tailed snake (Contia tenuis).  I am not too sure how up-to-date this website is, but it says that C. tenuis is not very well-understood in BC and red-listed as well.  Here is one of the information booklets printed by the BC government about these snakes.  I think I will submit these photos somewhere to get it properly identified.  Never mind, it is a Northwestern Garter Snake (Thamnophis ordinoides).

On the way back home from Finn Slough, there were cats Number Four (20 years old) and Blackie (18 years old) outside their house resting.  They warmly greeted me as I biked by.  I cannot help but stop and pet and take some photos of the feline brothers.

Number Four snoozing.
Walking home.

Blackie against the sun
Blackie staring into space.

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